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June 18, 2018

I’ve decided to hire a Virtual Assistant. What next?

Written by: Mark Engelmann

You’re a business owner and you’ve taken the time to understand the benefits of integrating an offshore Virtual Assistant into your organisation. This is great, but do you know HOW you’re going to integrate this new remote team member into your existing team?

Here are 4 questions you need to consider before moving forward with your decision to hire a Virtual Assistant.

1. What are you going to get your Virtual Assistant to do?

Understanding what your outsourced virtual assistant can do within your business is important in ensuring that your new resource is as productive as possible. Have you taken the time to review the processes and tasks within your organisation and identified which ones can be successfully completed remotely?

There are plenty of ways you can do this. My preferred method is conducting a process audit to identify the processes and tasks within the business, and then plotting those on our Complexity Vs Frequency matrix to ascertain which ones are ripe to be sent offshore. You can read more about how to do this in the first article of my Education Series, entitled, “Three Steps to Identify Which Business Processes You Need To Offshore To Maximise Growth”.

Once you have identified what your new hire is going to do you should document this in a Job Description, just the same way you would do if you were creating a new position locally. Job Descriptions are a necessary part of effective people management and will go a long way to ensuring you hire the right person for the job (NOTE: Your Outsourcing Provider should be very helpful with this part).

2. Have you told your existing team?

We see it all the time. The business owner makes the decision to hire a Virtual Assistant because they can see the obvious commercial benefits and efficiency gains; but they fail to talk to the existing team about it. Then one day they announce their plans, silence ensues, and then the team push back. The team pushes back because the owner failed to engage them in the decision. The team were never consulted, and now they feel betrayed and are concerned about all sorts of things they shouldn’t be including: their job security, a reduction in quality, how the customers are going to respond etc.

It’s great that you’ve made the decision to go ahead with hiring a Virtual Assistant, but it is important that you take your team on the same journey you went on prior to making the decision. Your staff want to know what’s in it for them, what controls are in place to ensure quality and how are they all going to work together with the new remote team member. This is simple change management, and for a lot of people it comes naturally. But if you want to ensure you’re on the right track with your Change Management Plan then check out my blog, “8 steps to successfully implementing an outsourced team in your business”.

3. Have you got the technology sorted?

Your outsourcing provider should be helping you with this, but they can only do so much. You have to make sure the technology is sorted out at your end as well. Some of the considerations could be:

  • Does your local team have access to a webcam and headset?
  • Do you have a web conferencing application you prefer to use? At Beepo, we like Zoom.
  • Are you going to be having group meetings with your new remote VA? If so do you have a space large enough to accommodate everyone or will the team all meet from their own work stations?
  • What systems and applications does your new VA need to access to complete their job? Are they cloud- or server-based? If server-based, have you arranged a VPN or similar so they can gain access?
  • Will their job require the transfer of large files e.g. graphics and video files? Have you considered how the time taken to upload and download these files will be managed?
  • Will your VA need access to a phone? If so, how will that work? Often your outsourcing provider will be able to provide a solution, or you may have your own. It’s probably worth a chat to your IT Manager or Telco Technician to answer this one.

Don’t be too worried about the IT piece. It is normally overcome pretty easily if you work with your Outsourcing Provider and Local IT contact. For more information about how to set your office up you can check out my blog, “What you need to create a professional video conferencing setup to meet with your Real Estate Virtual Assistants”.

4. How do you plan on training your Virtual Assistant?

Training is always one of the big bugbears for businesses new to working with remote staff. Fortunately, with today’s technology it shouldn’t be any different from training someone face to face. Most quality web conferencing tools allow you to screen share and record, which allows you to teach your new team member in real time as well as record training videos for reference down the track. Good outsourcing providers will also assist you with documenting your processes and building an effective process library.

Watch our On-Demand webinar for more information on how to do this easily and effectively, “How to Maximise Productivity in your Outsourced Team”.

Implementing an offshore team within your business is a great way to grow and scale. But, as with any new project, it comes with risks. If you want to make sure you have ticked all the boxes before going ahead with an Outsourcing Provider come and talk to us. Contact us for a Free Business Consultation.
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